EC orders Telangana govt to stop all disbursements under Rythu Bandhu Scheme | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Setback for KCR, election commission asks Telangana govt to stop disbursements under Rythu Bandhu Scheme

Nov 27, 2023 09:43 AM IST

"There shall be no disbursement under the Scheme till the Model Code of Conduct in the State of Telangana ceases to apply in all its forms," the EC said.

In a setback for K Chandrashekar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday withdrew the permission given to the Telangana government to disburse the financial aid to farmers for rabi crops under the Rythu Bandhu Scheme, after a state minister violated the provisions of the model code by making a public announcement about it.

Chief minister of Telangana K Chandrashekar Rao (PTI PHOTO)
Chief minister of Telangana K Chandrashekar Rao (PTI PHOTO)

"There shall be no disbursement under the Scheme till the Model Code of Conduct in the State of Telangana ceases to apply in all its forms," the election commission said.

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The election panel had given its nod to the KCR-led Telangana government to disburse the rabi the instalment during the model code of conduct period on certain grounds.

The state was asked not to publicise the disbursement during the poll code as part of the condition. Telangana goes to election on November 30.

The ECI informed the state chief electoral officer about its decision to withdraw its permission.

The state finance minister had made a public announcement about the release of disbursements of rabi instalments. He had reportedly said, "The disbursement will be made on Monday. Even before the farmers complete their breakfast and tea, the amount will be credited into their account”.

On Sunday, the Congress had requested the Chief Election Commissioner to impose restrictions on the BRS, not to mention the disbursement of Rythu Bandhu amount in their poll campaign.

The EC on November 24 gave a green signal to the state government to disburse the amount under the Rythu Bandhu Scheme before November 28.

In a letter addressed to CEC Rajiv Kumar, the Congress alleged that BRS leaders are making the EC’s nod as a “tool to influence” voters as if they are giving it out of their own pockets.

BRS leaders are blaming Congress for claiming that it obstructed the disbursement, which is not correct.

After the EC gave clearance, a press release from the state government said that as there are bank holidays on November 25, 26 and 27 and also the Election Commission directing that the distribution of money under Rythu Bandhu is not allowed on November 29 and 30, the funds would be deposited in the farmers' bank accounts through Direct Benefit Transfer method.

The state agriculture department said 70 lakh farmers will benefit through Rythu Bandhu in this Yasangi (rabi) season.

What is Rythu Bandhu Scheme?

The Rythu Bandhu scheme is also known as Farmer's Investment Support Scheme (FISS), and is a welfare programme for farmers started by the Telangana government in 2018.

Under the scheme, the state government provided the 58 lakh farmers in Telangana with 5,000 per acre of their land as a farm investment for two crops. This investment is made twice a year, once for kharif harvest and once for rabi harvest.

The Rythu Bandhu Scheme is the country's first direct farmer investment support scheme where cash is paid directly to the beneficiary. The scheme was started by Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao in 2018, and 12,000 crore were allocated from the state budget for the scheme.

(With inputs from agencies)

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